Global Technology and Legal Theory : Transnational Constitutionalism, Google and the European Union book cover
1st Edition

Global Technology and Legal Theory
Transnational Constitutionalism, Google and the European Union

ISBN 9780367181956
Published June 6, 2019 by Routledge
226 Pages

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Book Description

The rise and spread of the Internet has accelerated the global flows of money,

technology and information that are increasingly perceived as a challenge to the

traditional regulatory powers of nation states and the effectiveness of their constitutions.

The acceleration of these flows poses new legal and political problems

to their regulation and control, as shown by recent conflicts between Google and

the European Union (EU).


This book investigates the transnational constitutional dimension of recent

conflicts between Google and the EU in the areas of competition, taxation and

human rights. More than a simple case study, it explores how the new conflicts

originating from the worldwide expansion of the Internet economy are being dealt

with by the institutional mechanisms available at the European level. The analysis

of these conflicts exposes the tensions and contradictions between, on the one

hand, legal and political systems that are limited by territory, and, on the other

hand, the inherently global functioning of the Internet. The EU’s promising

initiatives to extend the protection of privacy in cyberspace set the stage for a

broader dialogue on constitutional problems related to the enforcement of fundamental

rights and the legitimate exercise of power that are common to different

legal orders of world society. Nevertheless, the different ways of dealing with the

competition and fiscal aspects of the conflicts with Google also indicate the same

limits that are generally attributed to the very project of European integration,

showing that the constitutionalization of the economy tends to outpace the constitutionalization

of politics.


Providing a detailed account of the unfolding of these conflicts, and their wider

consequences to the future of the Internet, this book will appeal to scholars

working in EU law, international law and constitutional law, as well as those in the

fields of political science and sociology.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Acronyms and abbreviations


(I) Google and its global reach

(II) A new constitutional question?

(III) Structure of the book

1) Constitutionalism and world society

1.1. Constitutions and modern society: content and form

1.2. Globalization and world society: structural changes and semantic bifurcations

1.3. The discourse on constitutionalism beyond the state

1.3.1. Transconstitutionalism and its realistic approach

1.3.2. The European Union: between free market and democratic politics

1.3.3. Transnational corporations: autonomous organizational trends

2) The architecture of cyberspace

2.1. The Internet beyond freedom and control

2.2. Internet governance: law and politics in cyberspace

2.3. Mass surveillance online: the United States and their transnational corporations

2.4. Google and the reality of search engines

3) Disrupting markets and tax bases

3.1. "We’re afraid of Google"

3.1.1. Competition in cyberspace

3.1.2. Antitrust investigations and proceedings

3.1.3. Neutrality, pluralism and competition

3.2. Fighting digital tax avoidance

3.2.1. Challenges to the taxation of the digital economy

3.2.2. Searching for Google’s mobile and stateless income

4) Privacy, social memory and global data flows

4.1. The media of data and the forms of information

4.2. Privacy and data protection online

4.3. The case law of the CJEU

4.3.1. Publishing, searching and forgetting content online

4.3.2. Collecting, transferring and spying on personal data

4.4. Remembrance, forgetting, surveillance

4.4.1. The first index and the right to be forgotten

4.4.2. The second index and the power of digital bureaucracies

4.4.3. Profiles, exposure and discrimination


(I) Transnational constitutional conflicts over global data flows

(II) The transconstitutional protection of privacy

(III) Constitutionalizing markets over politics

(IV) Human contingency and data determinism


Articles, books and conferences

Documents, reports and press releases

News, blogs and posts


International treaties and legislation

Judicial and administrative proceedings


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Guilherme Cintra Guimarães received his PhD in International Law from the

University Roma Tre, Italy. He is a Federal Attorney at the Brazilian Office of the

Attorney General of the Union.